CRM SMB Newby LogicBright, Oracle Siebel's CRM Subscription, John Todor Live, Socitm, Connextions Hires Perleberg

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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CRM SMB Newby LogicBright, Oracle Siebel's CRM Subscription, John Todor Live, Socitm, Connextions Hires Perleberg

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Paderewski's great Symphony in B Minor, the "Polonia:"

Oracle has announced the availability of Oracle's Siebel CRM On Demand Partner Subscription option. The Siebellians say it's designed for more effective collaboration with third parties and to improve the partner network.

Through a limited use license, the subscription option lets companies share information with their partners to "streamline joint sales, marketing and service activities," company officials say: "Partners can access a subset of core Siebel CRM On Demand features," such as leads, services requests, analytics, what have you. "All customer information is centralized, accessible and secure."

Oracle Senior Vice President of CRM Anthony Lye said the option is basically "giving our customers the ability to integrate better with their partner channels."

LogicBright CRM, a relatively new player in the small business CRM marketplace, has announced over 200 users in their first quarter of doing business. The LogicBrightians attributes this success to "providing small business owners a simple CRM software product." Sounds like the better mousetrap principle at work.

Steve Schmidt, president of LogicBright, said in his opinion an easier to use Web-based interface is "the most important thing for a small business." He added that his company's success shows "traditional contact managers such as ACT! are not meeting all of these companies' unique requirements."

All of LogicBright's development efforts "revolve around making LogicBright CRM easier for small business owners and their employees to learn and use," he said, adding, probably correctly, that "smaller companies and their sales staff will not adopt a CRM system if it is not exceedingly simple to master."

In fact, he says, LogicBright's research shows that most CRM failures come from the inability to get their sales force to use the system. LogicBright offers CRM implementation and importing packages for a fee, but Schmidt says they haven't had any clients "need that level of assistance."

First Coffee sees an important point being made through a rather tangled thicket of prose, so bear with me as we hack through a rather jumbled news release: Evidently, as best as I can figure, Britain's Society of IT Management has released a report, in response to an earlier report known as "The Varney Report," having to do with local authorities using the Internet to reduce "avoidable contact" with citizens and businesses.

Socitm thinks the proposed method of measuring other forms of avoidable contact is also flawed, and that further consultation is essential" if NI 14 (unexplained, evidently some sort of usage indicator) [is] to play useful role in councils' channel strategies."

Socitm thinks Web self-service transactions are not dwelt upon sufficiently as an opportunity for councils to avoid contact by making determined efforts to get citizens to switch their enquiries from phone and face to face channels to the Web.

Here's the treasure we've dug to find: "This is particularly important," the Soctim news advisory says, "following the raised efficiency targets local authorities must meet following CSR 07, and new figures published by NWeGG that show that a self-serviced Web transaction is 24 times less costly than a telephone transaction and 46 times less costly than a face - to - face transaction."

Citing Sir David Varney's recommendations that public service organizations should reduce the number of information requests handled by telephone by 50 percent, and make the Web the primary access point for all simple information and advice requests, Socitm says that all enquiries coming into a council through non-Web channels for information and transactions that are available on the Web should be regarded as 'avoidable contacts'.

Where citizens are failing to use information and services available on the Web, it could be that the service is poorly presented, difficult to use or find, or has not been sufficiently promoted to citizens Soctim officials think. They suggest identifying all information and service requests that could be self-serviced, and count the number of such requests still coming in through traditional channels.

"In terms of service requests coming in through contact centers, Socitm believes that the assumption behind NI 14 that the majority of organizations will have the means to make the required measurements using technology is incorrect," officials say: "Even in those local authorities where CRM/call center and back office technologies have been successfully integrated there will still be considerable sampling required for significant areas of the work."

I think you get the point by now, and First Coffee's machete arm is getting tired.

BPO firm Connextions has announced that it has hired Paul Perleberg as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the company's healthcare division, ConnextionsHealth. Company officials say he'll be responsible for development, operations and growth of ConnextionsHealth.

Perleberg joins Connextions from Fair Isaac Corporation, where he served as Managing Director of International Operations in the company's London office. Prior to that, he had P&L responsibility for Fair Isaac's healthcare and insurance business units.

Connextions CEO Jack LeFort said the vendor is trying to "deepen our commitment to the healthcare sector."

Last month Connextions announced the partial acquisition of Aha! Software, a Denver-based vendor of predictive analytics technologies that Connextions plans to integrate with its proprietary bConnected customer relationship management (CRM) platform for healthcare organizations. Connextions has also recently announced the establishment of its third customer care facility, in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

"The key to customer engagement is to get customers involved emotionally and psychologically, and this goes way beyond getting their attention or delighting them," John I. Todor, author of Addicted Customers: How to Get Them Hooked on Your Company has said.

Todor, managing partner of The Whetstone Edge, will be on the RSS Ray Show Wednesday, discussing his insights, strategies and tactics for customer engagement, including ways to use Web 2.0 or social media to build profitable customer relationships.

According to Todor, Addicted Customers "lays out the psychological principles that lead to emotionally and psychologically compelling customer experiences. It spells out business strategies that put these principles into action, and gives examples of companies who are successfully putting them into practice."

Todor thinks three of the hot topics going into 2008 are Advocacy, Word-of-Mouth and Social Media. "For word-of-mouth to be effective and attract other high-value customers it must go beyond getting customers to say they will recommend your product. The customers must be advocates." He sees Social Media, or Web 2.0, as "a powerful vehicle for sharing meaningful customer experiences," since "customers trust the opinions of their peers and increasingly rely on them to make purchase decisions and, critically, how to extract emotionally gratifying experiences."

The RSS Ray show is a one-hour Internet radio program that can be heard at Todor will appear Wednesday at 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. An on-demand or podcast version will be available after that date at

A First Coffee tip of the pot to the late, great cartoonist Charles Addams on his birthday. His illustrated Mother Goose makes a great gift for your siblings' younger kids, and the favor will be returned by your kids getting air horns.

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